The Stoke Gifford Ansteys

by Gary. M. Anstey and Thomas John Ansteychief researchers of the Anstey story project.

Stoke Gifford Ansteys Overview

The Stoke Gifford Ansteys, the sub-branch to which I (Gary) and fellow chief researcher T. J. Anstey (Tom) belong, trace their origins to John Anstey, who was baptised in 1751 in Iron Acton to parents William Anstey of Dyrham and Amy Parks. Hence the Stoke Gifford Ansteys are a sub-branch of the Dyrham Anstees, both of which form part of the South Gloucestershire Anstey pedigree.

How the Stoke Gifford Ansteys fit into the overall Anstey pedigree is illustrated nicely in the below schematic.

The entirety of the Stoke Gifford Anstey pedigree has now been mapped out and the lives of all of the early Stoke Gifford Ansteys is known in great detail. They are all thoroughly documented in the book

ANSTEY: The Stoke Gifford Branch

This is the fourth book co-authored by Gary and Tom, the first edition of which was privately printed in September 2019. Further research for the second edition is currently under way, for eventual publication and sale on Amazon, subject to there being enough demand to cover the costs of publication (anybody interested in being contacted when this second edition is available for purchase, please contact us at research@theansteystory.com).

It is intended that most of the contents of this book will be uploaded to this Anstey project website over time for all to enjoy.

Sub-branches of the Stoke Gifford Ansteys that we have thus far begun to upload include the:

The Early Stoke Gifford Anstey Pedigree

John Anstey married Christian Webb at St Michael’s Church in Stoke Gifford on 1 April 1777, and they had seven children being:

  • Christian Anstey (baptised in Frampton Cotterell on 19 July 1778);
  • Elizabeth Anstey (baptised in Frampton Cotterell on 3 October 1780);
  • Amy Anstey (aka Emma – baptised in Frampton Cotterell on 3 August 1783);
  • Mary Anstey (baptised 26 June 1785 in Frampton Cotterell);
  • William Anstey (‘father of eleven’ – baptised in Frampton Cotterell on 21 March 1787);
  • Thomas Anstey (‘father of thirteen’ – baptised in Stoke Gifford on 10 February 1791); and
  • Dinah Anstey (baptised in Stoke Gifford on 10 February 1791).

The eleven children of William Anstey and the thirteen children of Thomas Anstey form the two major Stoke Gifford Anstey sub-branches.

Stoke Gifford Anstey War Heroes

We have begun to upload biographies of Anstey war heroes. Those from the Stoke Gifford Anstey sub-branch include:

John Anstey (b 1812 Iron Acton)

John Anstey was born in 1812, baptised 21 June 1812 in Iron Acton, to parents William Anstey and Hannah Crook. His life is covered in the book ‘Anstey: The Stoke Gifford Branch‘, the fourth book co-authored by Gary and Tom, but in a nutshell he married Caroline Thomas, a spinster of Gaunts Earthcott, Almondsbury, on 15 April 1843 at St Michael’s Church, Stoke Gifford and they had children:

  • Eliza Hannah Anstey (b 1845 Stoke Gifford, married William Napper in 1871 in Reigate, Surrey – she died in 1909);
  • Ellen Anstey (b 1846 Stoke Gifford, married Edward Davies in Almondsbury in 1868)
  • Emma Jane Frances Anstey (b 1848 Stoke Gifford, known as Frances and Fanny, married Thomas Keeling in 1870 at Oak Hall Farm, Gaunts Earthcott);
  • Philip Thomas Anstey (b 1850 Stoke Gifford, married Mary Alice Thompson in 1877 in Halifax and they had a son John Henry Anstey (b 1878 Sowerby Bridge, Halifax, in the 1911 Census he was living at 110 Cromwell Road Redhill working as a stoker. Later in 1911 on 10 August he married Julia Beatrice Roots (father confirmed as ‘Philip Anstey butcher, deceased‘) at Redhill, St Mathew). In the 1881 Census Philip was an engineer at a chemical works living at Park Street, Skircoat, Halifax. By 1901 he was a pork butcher living at 8, West Street, Reigate. Mary Alice Anstey died on 22 October 1905 in Reigate – probate was to Philip Anstey of “8 West Street, Reigate, pork butcher“. Philip died in 1908 in Reigate);
  • Matilda Anstey (b 1853 Mangotsfield, died in September 1869, buried in the same grave as her father);
  • Mary Jane Anstey (b 1855 Almondsbury, unmarried in the 1911 Census living at 19 Cossell [Cassell?] Road Fishponds Bristol with a “cousinNorah Griffiths (b 1905). She married Shadrach T. Ovens in 1916 at Bristol Registry Office – Tom corresponded with her in 1912/13);
  • George Anstey (b 1858 Almondsbury, buried at Greenbank Cemetery, Bristol in 1877);
  • Annie Jemima Anstey (b 1860 Almondsbury, known as Jemima, married William Dayman in 1888 in Bristol);
  • Caroline Anstey (b 1863 Almondsbury, known as Carrie. She was a dressmaker, living with her sister Annie Jemima in the 1891 Census in Bristol, and died later that year);
  • Henry Joseph Anstey (b 1866 Almondsbury, he was living with his grandfather Jacob Thomas at Gaunts Earthcott in the 1871 Census, then by 1891 he was a warehouseman at Cripplegate in London – he died in 1892 in Clarkenwell, Middlesex)

In 1851 the family were at Field Farm, Stoke Gifford and in the 1861 Census they were living at Gaunt’s Earthcott where John was a carter.

William Anstey (b 1819 Winterbourne)

William Anstey was born in 1819 in Winterbourne, baptised 6 January 1822 in Winterbourne “aged 2“, to parents William Anstey and Hannah Crook. His life is covered in the book ‘Anstey: The Stoke Gifford Branch‘, the fourth book co-authored by Gary and Tom, but in a nutshell once he arrived in America in c1851, according to page 564 of ‘Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Decateur Counties Iowa’ (published in 1887), during these early years in America he:

located first at Dubuque, Iowa, where he engaged in teaming and lead-mining five years. He then bought a farm of forty acres, which he sold two years later and went to Delaware County, where he was employed in breaking prairie land for some time, and there bought 110 acres of improved land, paying $3.00 for it…when Mr. [William] Anstey came to Iowa he had but 50 cents...he was married September 11, 1863, to Mrs. Mary (Binning) Hewlett, a native of Somersetshire, England, born October 12, 1829, daughter of Jeffery and Joan (Wall) Binning, and widow of William Hewlett. By her first marriage she had five children – Sarah, Jane, John, Tamara and Mary Ann.

As well as taking on her five children, William had a further three children with Mary Hewlett, namely:

  • Frederick R. Anstey (b 1866, known as Fred, the first Stoke Gifford Anstey born on American soil. He was married and then widowed between 1900 and the 1910 American Census (at which time he was a widowed farmer living at Grand River, Decatur next door to his brother William); certainly he was once again living as a single (childless?) man in Grand River, Decatur County in 1915 – he also spent time in Richland, Decatur County with his mother);
  • William Elsworth Anstey (b 1869, married Mary S. Graves (1874-1952) in 1894; they had children Mary Helen Anstey (b 1895, died 1912 buried in Oak Hill Cemetery); John W. Anstey (b 1897); Rhoda A. Anstey (b 1899); and Grace Anstey (b 1900, died before 1910?). William and his family were living in Grand River in the 1910 American Census (next door to his brother William and a couple of members of the Hewlett family); he moved to Wyoming around 1930 and died in 1949, buried with his wife Mary at Valley View Cemetery, Wyoming); and
  • Minnie Anstey (b 1874, married Frank Millard (1871-1947), who was the son of Catherine (nee Anstey) and James Millard (so Minnie’s first cousin) in 1901 in Dyersville, Dubuque County. The ‘Leon Reporter’ in February 1901 ran the following report: “A pleasing wedding ceremony was performed on Wednesday afternoon…Frank Millard of Dyersville, Dubuque County, Iowa, a prosperous and highly respected citizen of that community, led Minne Anstey, of Grand River, Iowa, a young lady of pleasing manners and attractive appearance, to cupid’s shrine, where they mutually plighted their vows to each other. The bridegroom is one of Northern Iowa’s energetic young farmers, while the bride is one of Grand River’s best young ladies.”)

Robert Anstey (b 1853 Winterbourne)

Robert Anstey was born in 1853 in Winterbourne to parents Henry Anstey and Jane Walker. His life is covered in the book ‘Anstey: The Stoke Gifford Branch‘, the fourth book co-authored by Gary and Tom, where can be found transcripts of correspondence between him and Tom written in 1911 and 1912. Robert Anstey married Ann Louise Turvey (b c1859 Thornbury known as Annie) on 28 November 1874 in Bristol and they had children in Winterbourne:

  • Sarah Jane Anstey (b 1875, working as a servant in Westbury in the 1891 Census. She married Robert Hawkins in 1900 and died in Thornbury 1946);
  • Hannah Kate Anstey (b 1876, working as a servant in Westbury in the 1891 Census. She married Albert William Jones in 1898, died aged 99 in 1975);
  • Francis Henry Anstey (b 1878, living with his grandfather at Watley’s End in 1891. He married Annie Garland in 1899 in Barton Regis and they had children Eleanor Annie L. Anstey (b 1900); Frederick Robert H. Anstey (b 1902); Florence Edith Anstey (b 1904); Ethel Clarissa M. Anstey (b 1906); Ella Winifred R. Anstey (b 1910); Athelstan G. Anstey (b 1910); and Sidney W. Anstey (b 1912). The family were living at Watley’s End in the 1911 Census where Francis was a ‘Coal miner timberman below ground‘. He was a market gardener in 1944 when he was executor to his father’s (tiny) estate. He died in 1956 in Sodbury, “aged 78“);
  • Frederick Thomas Anstey (b 1880, known as Fred – a navvy on the railway in 1901 living at Wadley’s End. He married Annie Clara Hacker in 1903 and had children Theodora Rosetta Anstey (b 1904, known as Dora); Kessie Agatha Anstey (b 1906); Annie May Anstey (b 1908); Frederick Robert Anstey (b 1910); William T. T. Anstey (b 1912); Edith P. Anstey (b 1913); Millicent M. Anstey (b 1917); Alfred J. Anstey (b 1919); Donald Roy [John] Anstey (b 21 December 1921 – the ‘Gloucester Citizen‘ on 29 January 1948 reported “Man’s Appeal At Gloucester Dismissed: An appeal by a man who was said to have bought property, alleged to have been stolen from three men who had broken out of jail and were wearing prison clothes, was dismissed by the Gloucester Appeal Court n Wednesday. The case was one in which Donald John Anstey (27), of The Common, Watley’s End, Winterbourne, near Bristol—a coal merchant —appealed against a conviction and sentence of three months imprisonment imposed for having received effects knowing the articles to have been stolen…Anstey had said he bought the articles from three men who had first called at his house dressed in prison clothes covered by dirty overalls. They had admitted they had broken out of prison…“); Gordon Anstey (b 1922); Hazel M. Anstey (b 23 July 1923); and Joan Anstey (b 1925). In the 1911 Census Frederick was a coal miner hewer living with his family at Watleys End, Winterbourne. Frederick Thomas Anstey died on 7 October 1960 still living at Watley’s End Farm);
  • George Robert Anstey (b 1882, died an infant);
  • Gertrude Maud Anstey (b 1883, married Frederick William Garland in Barton Regis in 1899);
  • Edith Mary Anstey (b 1888, alive in 1901 and probably still alive in 1911);
  • William Daniel Anstey (b 26 June 1890, known as Walter, a collier hewer in the 1911 Census living with his father at Wadley’s End. He married Lucy Emma Tovey in 1916 in Chipping Sodbury and they had two children Reginald C. Anstey (b 1918) and Wilfred D. Anstey (b 1926). In the 1939 Register William was a haulage contractor living with his family at West Leigh Bristol Road, Winterbourne. William Daniel Anstey died in 1945, at the ‘Globe Inn’ Frampton Cotterell – probate was to his widow Lucy Emma Anstey);
  • Norah Winifred Anstey (b 1892, known as Winifred, an unmarried “tailor machinist” boarding at 17 Church Avenue Easton, Bristol in the 1911 Census); and
  • one other, alive in 1911.

By the 1881 Census Robert Anstey and his family were living at Wadleys End, Winterbourne with his father HenryRobert was a stonecutter. By 1901, still at Wadley’s End, Robert was a navvy on the railway. Robert Anstey was still living in Winterbourne at Watley’s End in the 1911 Census, he was a stonemason – his wife Annie Anstey was visiting the ‘Rex’ family at The Post Office Frampton Cotterell and working as a monthly nurse – 9 of their 10 children were still alive at the time of the 1911 Census.

Robert Anstey died on 26 December 1944, living at ‘Ansteys Cottages’, Watleys End, Winterbourne – administration was to his son Francis Henry Anstey.

Thomas Henry Anstey (b 1857 Caerleon)

The life of Thomas Henry Anstey, Tom‘s father and Gary‘s great x 2 grandfather, is covered in great detail in ‘Anstey: The Stoke Gifford Branch‘, the fourth book co-authored by Gary and Tom – the following excerpt of the beginning of his life is taken from that book:

Thomas Henry was born on 29 July 1857 at Park Farm, Caerleon, baptised on 23 August 1857 at Llangattock juxta Caerleon to parents William Anstey and Mary Rowlands. He was known as Thomas, however we shall refer to him as ‘Thomas Henry’ to avoid possible confusion with the numerous other ‘Thomas Anstey’s sprinkled throughout the Stoke Gifford Anstey story. The first catastrophic stroke of misfortune that befell Thomas Henry was of course the 1864 shooting at Park Farm and the family’s eviction from their home in c1865. As noted on page 323, the family situation in 1871 was so dire that Thomas Henry had already left school by the age of thirteen and he was working as a ‘miller’s labourer’, living at Mill Street, Caerleon. Between 1871 and 1875, Thomas Henry left Caerleon and got a job working on the Taff Vale Railway in Cardiff (Note: This move to Cardiff by Thomas Henry in the early 1870s to work on the railways was memorable for another reason, being that this was the first time in nearly four hundred years that one of co-author Gary’s direct Anstey ancestors was not living in a rural farming community).

It is during this time that the second catastrophic stroke of misfortune occurred because, whilst at work on 1 March 1874, Thomas Henry lost his leg in a railway turntable accident. The ‘South Wales Daily News’ on 2 March 1874 reported ‘Ystrad: Serious Accident: Yesterday afternoon Thomas Anstee [sic], a brakeman on the Taff Vale Railway, whilst in the act of coupling an engine to some trucks, slipped and fell across the line, where the tender of the engine passed over his leg. He was at once conveyed to the Cardiff Infirmary’.

On 31 October 1875, by this time a ‘[railway] clerk in the Taff Vale office’, Thomas Henry married Eliza Hannah Morse (known as Eliza) at the parish church of St Mary the Virgin, Cardiff; witnesses were Charles England and Mary Ann James. Both Thomas Henry and Eliza stated that they were living at 33 Alice Street, Cardiff at the time of their marriage; indeed it is likely that this is how they met, both just happening to be renting rooms in the same house in the Victorian slums of Cardiff, which was at that time full of similarly young, poor, working class individuals who had migrated to Cardiff from surrounding rural areas in search of work.

We will upload more details of Thomas Henry‘s life presently, but for the sake of completion, he had sons with Eliza:

After his first wife Eliza died in 1888 during childbirth, Thomas Henry remarried Rebecca Snelling in 1892, having further children:

  • Elizabeth Mary Anstey (b 1892, a dressmaker living with her family in the 1911 Census);
  • Charles Frederick Anstey (b 1899, living with his family in the 1911 Census); and
  • Reginald Herbert Anstey (b 1905, living with his family in the 1911 Census)

In the 1911 Census the family were living at 17 Dalton Street Cardiff.

Alfred Henry Williams Anstey (b 1858)

The following excerpt is taken from the book ‘Anstey: The Stoke Gifford Branch‘, the fourth book co-authored by Gary and Tom.

Alfred Henry Williams Anstey (b 1858) married Mary Louisa Jenner on 4 July 1882 at St Leonard’s Church, Tortworth; they had five children who survived to adulthood. The first, Alice Lucy Anstey (b 1886, known as Cissie), married her second cousin Thomas Alfred Daniell on 5 June 1907, a wedding which was well attended by various members of the Stoke Gifford Ansteys, including co-author Tom. The second, Henry Anstey (b 1887), died fighting in World War One. The third, Eleanor Gwendoline Anstey (b 1890, known as Gwen), had a rather tragic life and ended it in September 1935 by hanging herself in their slaughterhouse using a children’s skipping rope. Her funeral was attended by a ‘Who’s Who’ of the Stoke Gifford Ansteys, including Aunt Kate, co-author Tom’s brothers Willie and George, and Ted’s son Winter. The fourth, Alfred Richard William Anstey (b 1894, known as Dick), also fought in World War One and was very close to co-author Tom and his brother Ted. Finally, the fifth, Catherine Mary Victoria (b 1897, known as Vic), married Henry Nichols in Tortworth on 28 April 1920. As for Alfred himself, he appeared to live his entire married life at Buckover Farm in Falfield; he was evidently close to the rest of the Stoke Gifford Anstey family and he was a respected member of the Falfield community. Alfred passed away on 20 November 1917; he was buried in the same plot as his parents Henry and Mary (plot ‘A13’, St Leonard’s churchyard, Tortworth). His funeral was reported in the local newspapers, a copy of one such article was found amongst co-author Tom‘s research papers (no doubt placed there by Aunt Kate, who attended the funeral). The report read:

[t]he remains of the late Mr Alfred Henry Williams Anstey, of Buckover Farm, Falfield…the respect and esteem in which the deceased was held was evidenced by the large and representative attendance at the funeral. Mr Anstey was born at Court Farm, Tortworth 59 years ago and was buried near the graves of his father, mother and sister…The body was conveyed from the house to the church in a hearse, the principal mourners being 1st Carriage: Corporal R. Anstey [Dick], Misses G. and V. Anstey [Gwen and Vic], Mr T. Daniell (son-in-law); 2nd Carriage: Miss K. Anstey [Aunt Kate], Miss A. Anstey [Cissie], Alderman Henry Anstey [of Bristol], Mr N. Jenner (brother-in-law)…”

Alfred Henry Williams Anstey also had two daughters who died very young – Helen Mary Anstey (b 12 January 1883 Thornbury, died 16 April 1883 Thornbury, buried in Falfield) and Margaret Mary Anstey (b 5 June 1884 Thornbury, died 20 May 1885 Thornbury, buried in the same plot as her older sister Helen).

Alfred Henry Williams Anstey was half brother to William Daniel Anstey. He also had three sisters Catherine Mary Anstey (b 1859 Tortworth, known as Kate); Ellen Elizabeth Anstey (b 1861 Tortworth, known as Helen); and Alice Mary Anstey (b 1863 Tortworth, known as Alice). None of these sisters married or had children – Catherine Mary was living with her sister Alice Mary in 1910 at Whitfield, Falfield and they were still living there in the 1911 Census (though with wildly incorrect ages).

When Catherine died in 1931 (buried in the adjacent plot to her parents, ‘A14’, St Leonard’s churchyard, Tortworth) she was living at Pound House Farm in Falfield with Alice. Alice was buried in the same plot as her sister after she died in 1941. All we know of Ellen Elizabeth is that she didn’t marry, and died before 1904.

For the sake of completion, in the 1911 Census Alfred Henry Williams Anstey and his family were living at Buckover Farm in Falfield.

Catherine [Aunt Kate] Anstey (b 1861 Llangattock)

Aunt Kate is an absolutely pivotal figure in the Stoke Gifford Anstey story and her life is covered in great detail in ‘Anstey: The Stoke Gifford Branch‘, the fourth book co-authored by Gary and Tom – the following excerpt of her life up to 1901 is taken from that book:

Kate (officially ‘Catherine’) was born on 6 October 1861 at Park Farm in Llangattock, the fifth and youngest surviving child of William Anstey and Mary Rowlands. The now well-documented shooting incident at Park Farm in 1864, which led to the catastrophic collapse in wealth and status of Kate’s parents, as well as their eviction from their home, came fortunately (for Kate) at a time in her life when it did not directly and permanently affect her; her youth shielded her from its immediate consequences, unlike her elder brother Thomas Henry for example. As such, even though her family disintegrated in the post-1864 period, Kate herself remained at school, and she was still a “scholar [aged] nine” in the 1871 Census (bizarrely her name in that census was “Carrinthia”, a title which was only used in this single piece of documentation). A year before this, Kate had been baptised, on 19 July 1870, at Llangattock Juxta Caerleon; as to why she was not baptised until she was aged 8, I cannot say – presumably her parents had other matters on their mind during the 1860s. Kate’s good fortune in being able to remain at school throughout her childhood years was certainly the most important stroke of luck in her life, and she took full advantage. It is unclear precisely when Kate left school, but by 1880 she had decided that teaching was her vocation, and by June of that year she was working as an assistant to the headmaster at Penypark (Penparc) School in Cardigan, around a hundred miles north-west of Caerleon, right on the Welsh coast. This is confirmed in the 1881 Census, where “Kate Anstey”, a “nineteen [year old] boarder” and “schoolmistress”, was boarding at Blaenpistill Farm, Llangoedmore, Cardigan. In 1884, Kate decided to formalise her chosen career path and attended Fishponds Teacher Training College in Bristol on a two year course. She obviously excelled, for she won a prize for “diligence” in her second year, and on graduating in 1886, she immediately found a position as Assistant Mistress at Waldron Road Infants School in Earlsfield, South London. This was a very brave relocation for Kate; as far as I know, there were no family members already living in London. As such, she would have made the move alone to England’s capital city, as a single woman in a very much male-dominated world. Kate remained at Waldron Road Infants School until 1895, at which point she left to become Headmistress of Smallwood Road Infants School in nearby Tooting (which was at that point a brand new school). It was presumably Kate herself who stuck the following newspaper snippet underneath her name in co-author Tom’s Black Book, commemorating this move – it stated: “Waldron Road Infants – Presented to Miss C. Anstey on her leaving to be Head Mistress of Smallwood Road Infants School, a gold bracelet from the teachers and scholars, with best wishes for her future success”. In 1899, Kate was witness to her sister Elizabeth’s marriage to Edward Elphick in Cardiff, and in the same year she also attended a lavish family wedding in Bristol when her first cousin once removed Ellen (Nellie) Burchall Anstey married Herbert Walter Hawkins. These types of family occasions were a magnet for Kate; she was evidently a family socialite, attending innumerable such events. Indeed, in conversation with me in 2016, Ted’s daughter Mary confirmed this conclusion, describing Kate as: “classy and always very well presented, in hand-made dresses, a middle class socialite always attending weddings etc”. By the 1901 Census, Kate was already evidently doing very well for herself; she was fully established as a “schoolteacher” (actually headmistress), living at 21 Windmill Road, right next to Wandsworth Common in South London, together with three of her nephews, Willie, co-author Tom and Ted.

We will upload more of Kate‘s life presently, but for the sake of completion, in the 1911 Census she was living with her nephews co-author Tom and Ted at 3 Windmill Road Wandsworth

Further Information on the Stoke Gifford Ansteys

We are always on the lookout for Stoke Gifford Anstey experts alive today who are willing to add their findings and knowledge to this project. We are particularly interested in research regarding Stoke Gifford Ansteys who fought in wars, preferably with personal souvenirs such as letters sent by the soldiers or military photos etc. Anybody who has such expertise and inclination, please contact us at research@theansteystory.com.

We have already uploaded quite a bit of information and documentation about the Stoke Gifford Ansteys, and continue to upload more each day (see Project Updates), however it is spread over various segments of the website.

The best way to find said information is to enter ‘Stoke Gifford’ in the search box at the bottom of this page and a list of relevant pages will appear.

Anybody who finds any mistakes on this page, please contact us at research@theansteystory.com and we will correct it.

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